Review: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: September 7th 2010
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Chick-Lit, High School, Romance, Drama


Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


What a bummer.

I decided to read this novel for four distinct reasons:

1) The unmistakable hype
2) The movie was exactly what I hoped to watch a Friday night
3) Many reviewers qualified this book as ‘‘fun’’ and ‘‘absolutely entertaining’’
4) I wanted to see how the DUFF thing was dealt with in the written story and recognize the changes they made to the cinematographic version (because there always are)

But the thing is… hype lies, this was nothing – and believe me when I say that – like the movie, the storyline held so many clichés it became more boring than entertaining itself and the DUFF thing was scantly explored. It laid there in the background but, really, the author probably only included it to add something ‘‘new’’ to the friends-with-benefits overwritten cliché. I get that there is supposed to be a message behind the DUFF thing, but we only really get it by watching the movie.

Aside from the omnipresent stereotypes – gosh, you could actually swim inside a pool filled with them – Bianca, the main character, was highly irritating. Obnoxious. Abrasive. Rude. I might seem like a cold-heartened person by saying this, but I truthfully don’t see how Wesley could have ‘‘fallen’’ for her. She was so mean to him, and there was really nothing special about her. Maybe I would have felt differently toward her if she hadn’t bitched about (and to) her friends, her dad and Wesley himself whenever she wasn’t ‘‘in the right mood,’’ which means for half of the story, heh! Ugh. I can’t stand it when people throw at others hurtful words without thinking about the other people’s feelings.

Well, I’m glad I’m done with this read. (High fives to self for not having DNF’d.)

20 thoughts on “Review: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

  1. What a shame, I’ve heard so many positive things about the movie and the book it’s a shame this one was shallow for you! Bianca sounds like she’d be hard to relate to. I think I’ll stick with the movie and see how I go, great review Lola.


  2. Oh praise the heaven! I’m not the only one. I got to read this one because of all the hype about the movie and all, but boy this was bad. I mean cliche after cliche so I eventually gave up and never actually finished the story. I won’t bother with the movie either. Sorry girl, but yeah it’s good not to be the only one 😀


  3. I haven’t read this book Lola and honestly I don’t think I will before I even read your review. I’ve read from other reviews already that the main character is a pain. I don’t think I can endure her. Thanks for the heads up Lola!!! 🙂


  4. Aww that’s a bummer, I read this and gave it 3 stars. I hated the friends with benefits part of the book since she hated him and that made no sense, other than that, I kind of excused Bianca for acting out. She had some serious family issues and you know, a person needs to get out his anger some way or another.. I guess Bianca lashed out on people and that was her way of feeling better. She was a tough main character, I must admit that and I definitely don’t encourage anybody to act in such behavior, but I guess I can understand somehow..

    I hope the movie makes this up for you thoughh :/♥ and I hope you read more amazing books to compensate for this one :)!

    – Jumana @


  5. Oh my heart. I loved this book a lot, but that’s probably because I could relate to Bianca. I’m definitely cynical, negative and lash out at times. Given her family circumstances I can understand why she did what she did and if given the chance, I may have done the same. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. ❤ The author says she heard the term DUFF used in high school and she wanted to change the meaning so she wrote this. You might try A Midsummer's Nightmare if you haven't already, but it features a similar cynical, somewhat negative character who does some things you probably wouldn't like at times, so maybe don't try it. 🙂


    • I had the same experience as you. I really enjoyed this book because I liked Bianca’s cynical approach to things since I am also very cynical. And I know a lot of people don’t enjoy reading cynical characters and that would be a huge turn off for this book.

      I also attributed her “acting” out to her pretty crappy family situation. I don’t know a lot of people who would be so happy-go-lucky if that was happening to them.

      I think it helped that I didn’t take the book or the movie seriously and went in blind (as in I didn’t read any reviews prior) so I wouldn’t end up disappointed. I knew that the movie wasn’t going to be the book but I felt like they each shared the same message of loving yourself. Though I agree with Lola that it is more apparent in the movie (at least it was to me).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved the movie much better than the book, it had a powerful message. The book I ended up putting it as DNF though. I didn’t like Bianca at all, she was just shallow and so mean. Glad you could agree Lola. Fantastic review ❤


  7. Oh sorry it wasn’t for you. I confess that I’m quite curious about this one because of the glorious review I saw… maybe. I hope it will be better for me if I try it.


  8. Oh dear, what a shame! I watched the movie a while ago and I thought it was pretty entertaining but not much else. I’ll probably push this one down the TBR list.

    Nice review, Lola! <33


  9. When it comes to books like this, in most cases I see people either loving it or hating it. I have seen the trailer for the movie and I did think it seemed like the typical kind of chick flick that could even be a drama television series. I didn’t think the book was so similar! Still want to give this one a shot though.


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